Sunday, 28 April 2013


One of my favourite activities is writing letters. Especially using a really nice 'proper' pen.

Of course, I like them to be amusing but I must admit that I would struggle to beat these which I found on the Only4Humor website:

Dear Noah,  
We could have sworn you said the ark wasn't leaving till 5.  
Sincerely, Unicorns

Dear J.K. Rowling,  
Your books are entirely unrealistic. I mean, a ginger kid with two friends?  
Sincerely, Anonymous

Dear Boyfriend,  
I can make your girlfriend scream louder than you can.  
Sincerely, Spiders

Dear Yahoo,  
I've never heard anyone say, "I don't know, let's Yahoo! it..." just saying...  
Sincerely, Google

Dear Saturn,  
I liked it, so I put a ring on it.  
Sincerely, God

Dear Rubik's Cube,  
Sincerely, Colorblind

Nuff said.


Wednesday, 24 April 2013


My next door but one neighbour has set up a rat hotel in the form of a pile of rubbish in her garden. Sadly though, the rats didn't book in on a B&B rate so are dining out in nearby restaurants.

It was a while before I realised that the buffet I laid out daily to feed the birds was serving this purpose. If a blackbird hadn't submitted a complaint to me I might never have noticed. 

No worries. I rearranged the feeder so that the only way a rat could reach it was to go via the birdbath and knowing rats don't like water...

The next day I watched as a rat carefully climbed onto the rim of the birdbath, neatly avoiding the water, and then tucked in. 

So the feeding had to stop and the only thing I left out was a dangling seedhouse which unless rats could fly...

The next day I watched as a rat shinned up a vertical pole in rope-climbing fashion, paw over paw to get there.

I did some research. Rats are able to adapt to different environments without much difficulty. A rat can go longer without water than a camel. It can fall some five stories without injury. They can survive large doses of radiation, and swim for half a mile across open water. 

Over generations, they tend to build up certain immunities to poisons. And the biggest, feistiest sewer rats can send your average house cat running for safety. A mating pair of rats can have 5 litters of 7-15 pups in a year, and the pups themselves become fertile around 5 weeks of age.

Clearly, in my battle against the rodent infestation, I stood no chance.


Sunday, 21 April 2013


Like many others I constantly battle against my weight. My weight usually wins.

It does this by underhand trickery like suddenly putting visions of tasty morsels of food in my head or worse, making them appear in front of me in shops.

Of course I've tried the 'faddy' diets which come and go. I wont tell you how the body reacts when you fill it with nothing but cabbage except to mention my guilt pangs when I hear about global warming and wonder how much I am to blame.

But now I have the ultimate answer. It is guaranteed to lose weight quickly. What's more, it is all done for you. No action required on your part. The solution? Catch a virus. 
The one which visited me began by making me feel unwell and then methodically emptied my digestive system by using  both an upward and downward route. It's next step was to ensure I had a complete loss of appetite. So far so good.

Next it had to ensure that I lie down in a dark room and do absolutely nothing in case the need for nourishment arose. This was achieved by giving me a raging temperature.

So there I lay in a dazed doze, entertained by trivial thoughts swilling around in my mind. 

Eureka! After the first day I'd lost four pounds. Two more the next day then two again. 

So eating nothing is the ultimate diet. What is more, after a month or so you won't have a care in the world.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013


When a celebrity goes to a funeral - it can be a bit awkward. This is especially true if you are the only celebrity present.

The danger of course, is that all attention is on you when it should be on the grieving widow.

One celebrity got around this problem by arriving an hour early. She then sat in silence looking at the altar. 

The vicar was worried that perhaps she had been given the wrong time for the funeral but when he asked her about it she replied that she simply wanted to ensure that her arrival wouldn't upstage the widow.

The celebrity concerned has often had a 'bad press' but I think this act speaks volumes of her compassion and thoughfulness.

Her name is Margaret Thatcher and she attends her own funeral today but will be arriving on time. 

Sunday, 14 April 2013


A word of advice. If you see me by the shops, head down, elbows sticking out, keep clear. It means I'm on a mission to find something - preferably a bargain.

I was in St. Ives not long ago on such a mission. I sought a chocolate brown hoodie. I'd checked my hoodie collection and had all the colours of the rainbow including various browns but no chocolate brown.

I stormed into an unsuspecting shop which was displaying 'Sale' signs outside and after careful scrutiny of the hoodies on offer, 'Eureka!' - a chocolate brown one in the 'XL' section marked at £25 came to light. It was half-price. I checked the hanger - 'XL' - and went to pay.

That evening however when I came to try it on before bed I discovered to my horror that it was actually size 'small' which you might have guessed I'm not.

I drove back to St Ives the next day and presented the hoodie for a refund. 'No refunds on sale goods' came the reply. 

I explained that I had not changed my mind about the purchase but that it was clearly the wrong size and had been placed on an incorrect hanger. The lady behind the counter who had the demeanor of a female wrestler suggested that it must have been put on the wrong hanger by a customer. 

She said I could only have a credit note. Reluctantly, I accepted. As she organised it I said 'I hope you feel bad about this'. 'I don't have to give you a credit note and if you're rude to me I wont' she said.

Clearly the art of customer service is as dead as a Dodo. 

Wednesday, 10 April 2013


OK so there this leader of North Korea, Kim whatshername - sorry Kim whatshisname who's said he's going to flatten America. He's got a landing craft which he's photo-shopped to look like loads of them and he has pointy-end missiles and everything.

So after New York is turned to rubble and there's only Will Smith left alive, he's going to think about having a go at England. Well I have a message for him.

Dear Kim,

You need to know that over here an Englishman's home is his castle. If you come for me I'll be ready and waiting.

Only fifty four years ago I took on the school bully in a fist fight and gave him a bloody nose so I'm no stranger to hand-to-hand unarmed combat.

I should also warn you that if you arrive at my house armed I have a secret weapon. Being a secret, I shan't tell you what it is but I brought it back from Toledo in Spain when I was on holiday there in 1961. Toledo is where they make steel souvenirs like swords and stuff and its not even rusty or anything.

I've forgotten where the swor- ermm secret weapon is at the moment but by the time you've conquered America I shall have remembered. It's probably in the loft.

Speaking of the loft, if you get to my place and find no-one in don't look in the loft. I can assure you I wont be hiding in it and sometimes there are mice up there so best leave it be.

I also have a swiss army knife so look out - you have been warned.

Sunday, 7 April 2013


Forgive me reader for I have sinned. I must confess that there were times when I was still working when I 'pulled a sickie'. 

Occasionally I would wake in the morning and feel so tired that I phoned in and put on my best croaky voice to inform them of my laryngitis, flu, throat cancer, near-death experience or whatever came to mind that I thought they might believe. It felt good - it felt wicked.

Then of course the next day when I went into work, I made sure I had a dry throat or was limping or maybe using a walking stick to back up my subterfuge. 

I thought I was quite good at this until I recently discovered that there was a ruse I hadn't thought of. A Social Worker has been found guilty of fraud after taking a total of 66 days off work. You might think that this was a long time time to be ill, and it is. Her reasons for absence were because of the apparent deaths of both her parents, an uncle, an aunt, her brother and her ex-husband.

First her father was killed in a car crash. Next her mother was sectioned and then died during surgery. Presumably because of the grief of losing his parents her brother then died. Next her ex-husband killed himself and she had to identify his body. Finally an uncle and aunt died within a week of each other.

My guess is that her bosses investigated her because they couldn't afford any more 'sorry for your loss' cards and were sick of being R.I.P. ped off.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013


Luckily, I seem to have managed to negotiate another April Fool's day without falling for any of the pranks in the newspapers or being conned by friends or family. 

Indeed I find it a lot of fun to search the papers for their joke stories. Of course you might argue that I may have fallen for some without realising it but if so I am in blissful ignorance.

We have always referred to being teased in this way as 'having your leg pulled'. Furthermore, the common rejoinder if someone did 'pull your leg' was to say 'pull the other one, it's got bells on'.

Obviously the meaning is clear. It says 'I don't believe you and think you are teasing me'. I cannot find a definitive origin for the saying - they often come from old music hall acts or plays - but I have found one rather disturbing suggestion of the source of the phrase.

There are some who say that it is about people being hanged. Hanging could be drawn out and unpleasant - so the condemned man would often pay for the hangman or somebody else to pull down on their legs to ensure a quick death.

It is further thought that sometimes children would pull the legs of a hanging man in the hope of coins falling out of his pockets. Thus to tell a person to 'pull the other one' is to tell them to have another go - they might be luckier with the other leg. If a pocket has coins in it will jingle, as a bell would.

Personally I think this suggestion is stretching it to say nothing of stretching the poor hanging man.